Archive for August, 2011

Kayaking in the New York

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

It is our last day in New York and our flight doesn’t leave until 9:30 tonight, so we have all day to go crazy and take one more bite of what we have left of the Big Apple.  I have about 10 things left on my list and kayaking in the Hudson River is not one of them…..

My crazy husband and now my daughter (thanks Barrie) are obsessed with going kayaking today, which we heard apparently goes on somewhere on Governors Island which is just a tourist packed ferry ride away.  After the Empire State Building queuing experience, I am done doing the N.Y. tourist thing, especially on our last day.  Anyway, surely I haven’t packed any clothes or shoes for such an activity!

Leave it to Barrie to find a kayaking place in Manhattan, off the West Side Highway on Pier 40, and not far from where we are staying.  And to top it off, it’s FREE!  I didn’t want to be the one to spoil the fun and break the hearts of 3 kids (one of the kids being my husband) so off we went on the condition that if there is a queue we leave it for another time (or another life, more like!).

Well, when we got to the pier we followed the signs for Free Kayaking and I was shocked to see, in the middle of Manhattan, a dock with kayaks and the loveliest, friendliest people inviting us to take a life vest, a kayak, sign a waiver and go have fun.  There were no other people apart from the volunteers who work there and a few locals who had also just stumbled upon this little NY secret.

Needless to say, it was an amazingly surreal experience kayaking with my 8 year old daughter (Barrie and Piers in separate boat) in a river surrounded by sky scrapers.  I didn’t even mind having Hudson River Water splashed in my face (thanks very much Isabella – not funny), or having to deal with a very smug Husband for the rest of the day (“yes, it was a wonderful idea after all. You were right.”)

This has got to be one of New York’s best kept secrets, until now.  The program is run by The Down Town Boathouse and it is volunteer-run, non-profit organisation dedicated to providing free public access to the New York City Harbour and they operate purely on donations.  I was told that the owner of the pier used to kayak around the harbour and after many enquiries from the residents he decided to open it to the public and start this program.

It is definitely going on our “things to do in N.Y.” recommendation list.

Tricot Field, Kids Clothing

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Another shop I was told I must get to while in New York was Tricot Field located on West Houston in Soho (they also have a store in Beverly Hills).

Tricot Fields carry the coolest kid’s clothes from labels such as Fith, Go To Hollywood and Denim Dungaree.  If you are like me and always on the look out for new and interesting clothes for your kids this is the place (Gap has it’s place but….)  If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, do pop in.

Check out some of these very cool mini urban looks:

Out in the Meat Packing District

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Last night I met my dear old school friend Yin, for dinner and drinks, downtown in the Meat Packing District.  I always leave it to Yin to pick the place as he has impeccable taste and he always takes me to the best places.  Last night was no different.

We started out at Buddakhan. Not a new place and quite touristy now (since it’s cameo appearance on the Sex and the City movie), but it is still fabulous and the decor is so dramatic and grand, you actually forget how good the food is.

After dinner we wandered over to the Boom Boom Room at the top of the Standard Hotel which is just a feast for the eyes with floor to ceiling windows, magnificent views of the city, golden fireplaces and starburst chandeliers.  Pure decadence.  There is another more intimate room that even has a hot tub smack in the middle!

Though, my favourite room was the toilet – which is a glass cubicle that overlooks the entire city!

Best Selling VK Look

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

We have had many calls enquiring about a look we have pictured on our website and in our ads.  In the shot it may look like a maxi dress but it is actually two pieces – The Irina Top and The Bella Skirt.

I love the versatility of these pieces, I live in the black version of this outfit and wear it everywhere from shopping in town to black tie occasions.  Making it a fabulous day-to-evening look.  And sheer is so IN now.  Irina is also fabulous with a skirt, or trouser, or even a pair of tailored shorts (another of my favourite ways to wear it).

Here it is below in Cameo Rose with the Anja Gold Trousers.

The Good news is that Irina and Anja, along with some other fabulous pieces are in the Summer Sale until the end of the month.

Irina Top and Bella Skirt in Sage

Irina Top in Cameo Rose and Anja Gold Trousers

Kate Silverton Wearing Vanessa Knox in Hello! Magazine

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Kate Silverton, friend and VK fan was spotted in this weeks Hello! Magazine (29th August) looking fabulous in the Vanessa Knox Veronique Maternity Dress in Violet.

We would like to wish Kate and Mike huge congratulations and all the very best wishes for a happy pregnancy!

The VK Team XX

The Empire State Building

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

After living in New York most of my life and working just blocks away I have never been up The Empire State Building, nor have I ever contemplated it….until today.

My husband’s mother is a tour guide so dear Barrie cannot bear to go somewhere (anywhere) and not hit every single museum, historical point of interest, landmark, burial site, birthplace of some famous person’s mother, etc.  It is a quality I love in him, this sense of adventure and curiosity, but it can be exhausting!

So here we are…. Of course every tourist in New York had the same idea so the queue was about 2 hours long to buy our tickets and get to the first lift.  But we were determined at this point and on the positive side at least there was air conditioning!

Once we got out of the first lift, there was another hour long queue for the 2nd lift to go 10 more flights, which we decided to walk up with our two very unhappy children dragging behind.

2 days later we got to the observation deck, had a look around, took some pictures and then started queuing again for our descent.

It was all totally worth it – the views are spectacular and I adore Art Deco architecture but I think we’re done doing the tourist thing for today.  Maybe we scrap the Statue of Liberty trip this time and just get the book!

Shopping in New York – Part 2

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

And the second cool boutique my friends were raving about was Opening Ceremony

It is located 5 minutes away from No. 6 on Howard Street. It is not just a very cutting edge clothing shop, it is multi-faceted creative forum comprising of a showroom, gallery, and retail space.  Opening Ceremony brings together established American and European designers with emerging designers and artists, and mixes in one-of -a-kind vintage pieces and selected items acquired from open air markets around the world.

Collaboration is also a key aspect of Opening Ceremony’s philosophy.  They have worked on projects with Tretorn, Nike, JP Gaultier, and have been involved in co-branding with Stetson, the Olympic celebrations and limited edition merchandise.

O C was inspired by the Olympics and their amazing creativity merges business, sports and global interaction and then applies this to fashion.  Every year Opening Ceremony celebrates a new country from Brazil, to Sweden, UK to Japan.

Opening Ceremony also currently features many more young and established designers such as Proenza Schouler (US), Rachel Comey (US), Mary Ping (US), Rodarte (US), Alexandre Herchcovitch (Brazil), Lutz (Germany), Schiesser Revival (Germany), Pulver (Germany), BLESS (Germany), Hussein Chalayan (UK), Marios Schwab (UK), Topshop (UK), Vlas Blomme (Japan), Whereabouts (Japan), to name a few…… Shopping Heaven! Vx

Artifact Art, N.Y.

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

The other day on West Houston Street, Soho I came across the most interesting man with piercing blue eyes and white beard wearing straw top hat selling jewellery made from artefacts he finds on digs around New York City.  His pieces were so interesting I had to stop and have a look and a chat.

The name of the label is aptly named New York Artifact Art and the man’s name is Scott Jordan and he has been digging around New York since 1969 when he stumbled upon a time capsule of New York’s military history on Governor’s Island containing buttons, musket balls and bullets, coins and pottery dating back to the Civil War (which is quite a find for a country that is only 235 years old).

This experience inspired Scott to start exploring construction and restoration sites and old landfills where artefacts were being thrown away by the truckload.  Each button, bottle, shard of pottery found is carefully logged and dated so every necklace or sculpture comes with its own story and is unique and one of a kind.

Shopping in New York – part 1

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

There is so much to see while in New York – there are the obvious destinations for shopping that I have to visit but I am always looking out for the newest and the coolest and there are two boutiques I kept hearing about from my fashion friends  - one of which is No.6

Being a native New Yorker I thought I would find them no problem – just point me in the direction and I will ask someone on the way. Well, after 2 hours of circling the Little Italy area in 100 degree heat I gave up and had to call No. 6 to help me find my way.

You really do have to be “in-the-know” to know about this place. It is tucked away on a quiet side street in Little Italy in a charming old apartment building.  The shop itself is very low key and has a very homey, yet creative feel thanks to designer Duncan Hamilton who gave the space this creative sensibility.

The Shop is owned by vintage collector Morgan Yaku and stylist Karin Bereson.  The collections are large and constantly changing.  They consist of carefully selected European and American vintage pieces as well as Indie designer brands such as Anntian, Belle Sauvage, Boessert Schorn, Future Classics, Henrik Vibskov, No. 6 clogs and clothing (of course) to name a few. The accessories are pieces of art, from designers such as Jensen Conroy, Anndra Neen, Arielle de Pinto, Wedy Nichol & Wubet.

I walked away with a pair of No. 6 strappy wedges that I plan to live in.


Friday, August 19th, 2011

Today I spent the day in Hoboken New Jersey – the birthplace and home of Frank Sinatra and film set of On the Waterfront (Hobokians are very proud of this).  After years of my mother telling me how lovely it is I decided to take her to lunch there and have a little walk around.

After all the years living in New York I don’t know why I’ve never visited Hoboken, it’s only minutes away from downtown Manhattan.  Going there was like stepping back in time.  Hoboken is such a charming, buzzing town with fabulous restaurants, shops and bakeries that have been owned by the same families for generations.

Who knew?!

The view of Hoboken from the Waterfront.

The Hoboken Terminal

has been restored to its former glory, complete with shoe shine station – it was like stepping on to a movie set.

Teak on the Hudson

where we stopped for lunch and had the best sushi and saketini’s.   It happened to be  “Customer Appreciation Day”  as well, so everything was 50%.  Loving this place so far!

The family run Carlo’s Bake Shop, established in 1910.  Must be pretty special – the street is even called Carlo’s Bakery Way.

I would have loved to have seen what the fuss was about the line was 2 blocks long.  Even Channel Seven’s Bill Evans said it is the best bakery in Hoboken.

Tutta Pasta

owned by Fortunato Di Natale, who is famous for his signature fire grilled pizza. Local celebrity Danny Aiello can be seen here dining with his friends before the dinner rush, which naturally, attracts customers and passers-by, who think he owns the place – I always assumed he did as well!